I am humbled and pleased to announce that Alaska Women Speak will be publishing 2 of my poems in their upcoming Spring 2007 issue: “After the Blitzkrieg (London, 2002)” and “The Photo He Kept (St. Louis, 2002).” Within Alaska, you can find a copy of AWS at Barnes & Noble, The Homer Bookstore, and at many other fine booksellers. You can also purchase it online at http://alaskawomenspeak.org. Check out all the great works!
I’m pleased to announce that Alaska Women Speak will publish, along with 3 of my poems, a nonfiction piece of mine called “The Forgotten War.” This piece is about my visit to the DMZ that separates North and South Korea. For all my local readers, these works will be available at Barnes & Noble Anchorage, Homer Bookstore and other outlets throughout Alaska.
This nonfiction piece was published by Alaska Women Speak in its Winter 2015 issue. The theme was “talking over coffee (or tea).” This my first creative nonfiction piece to be published. Enjoy!
The Important Things
It’s been that kind of a day and now, at home, you are faced with a household tragedy: the tea supply has run dry. Not that fancy, loose tea that sits atop of the cupboard by the stove: the rooibos, the jasmine, the gunpowder green. The kind that requires the French press, a teaspoon to measure, four cups of water, and four minutes to brew. No, you are out of the ordinary Red Rose Tea, the one that comes in the bulk 100-count boxes. The ones that are not individually wrapped for freshness. Those are the ones you lack and need.
You leave your husband and the overtired one-year-old who refused to nap today to make the important journey. You travel to the only grocery store in your small town that has this tea. Forget about the decaffeinated version, you want the real thing, and buy two boxes. When you return home, his raised eyebrows, sigh and silent house tell you that he’s succeed in his mission and the child is asleep. You produce the tea, proving you were successful in yours, too.
The evening proceeds like many others do. You select the preferred cups: his, is the plain, white ceramic; yours, the clear glass Starbucks one. You are not fancy. This does not require much decorum. Just two cups of water, a microwave, and two minutes.
After a moment of silence, you turn on the TV. Forget about the Syrian refugee crisis and the falling Dow Jones, you discuss the important things of life over Futurama: like Katey Sagal’s career after Married…with Children ended and how much adults like Disney cartoons, too.
Your tea is the liquor that calms the nerves and re-energizes your soul. The last sip, overly sweet and growing cold after fifteen minutes, gives you the final jolt you need to pack the diaper bag, make the turkey sandwich lunch and check your calendar one more time, before winding down to a short sleep before the day begins again.
I just was notified that three of my poems will appear in Alaska Women Speak‘s spring issue that will make its debut late next month. All works in the spring issue center on foreign travel. My three poems: A Greeting at Imjingak, Chaos and Conformity and Bibimbap are about my stay in South Korea.
I’m delighted to take part in their magazine again. More details when the issue goes to print!
This poem was published in Alaska Women Speak‘s winter issue 2015. The theme was “talking over coffee or tea.”
The samovar placed on the kitchen table
is a poor replica of babushka’s samovar,
the silver one with the tiny teapot at the top
that held the strongest tea,
the tea she cautioned your tiny hand
not to touch,
not to hold.
Just watch, my devochka,
she would say,
as she poured the concentrated tea
into tiny china cups:
for you a little; for her a lot.
She would exhale the steam off her cup
like she was blowing off a potion,
like a spell casting you both back
to the old country,
the Good Russia of the tsars,
not the bad Russia where Lenin lived,
in the stories she would tell.
She takes you to the Samara of her youth,
when the tsar still lived
and the grand duchesses were the most
beautiful girls in the world,
as her tea cakes disappear
and your tea runs cold.
Today, your middle-aged hands fill
the teapot of your own samovar, far
less beautiful than babushka’s and made
of brass from new Russia.
You hope she doesn’t mind the cheap
imposter as you set two ceramic cups out,
and babushka’s spirit takes you to the
banks of the Volga just one more time.
Throwback work: This one was published in Three Line Poetry‘s 33rd issue back in September. Enjoy! Brief, haiku-inspired.
Dark clouds descend low
Mountains like whipped topping
The July morning cools
Hey everyone! My poem “Away with the Bitterness” has been reprinted today in Alaska Shorts on the 49 Writers blog. Check it out! Holiday theme!